Cleveland Police have issued a warning about scammers targeting former Tata Steel employees.
Tata employs about 270 people at its 20-inch mill in Brenda Road. The firm completed the sale of its 42- and 84-inch pipe mills to Liberty House Group in 2017,
The force has received a report that an ex-employee was approached by a company based in the United States, offering to buys shares for far more than their market value.
The victim was contacted by email and telephone, with the fraudsters building up a relationship over a period of weeks. In this case, the company was Nomura & Partners, which is suspected to be a clone.
The fraudsters approach victims and inform them that they are searching for any bonus shares held by the victim.
Personal details are collected, including the victim’s address and email address, before the victim is informed they own shares which the company is willing to buy.
A non-disclosure form is then sent to the victim to sign, which prevents them from discussing the deal with any third party.
If the victim returns the form, they are contacted telling them if they wish to go ahead the fraudsters require an insurance bond (which will be returned to them) to proceed, before requesting a much larger amount of money.
The scam is designed to get cash and financial details from the victim. In this case the fraudsters requested funds be transferred to bank accounts in the Philippines.
So far, the force has only had a report of one person contacted in the above way and the suspected fraudsters were not successful.
However, detectives are concerned that other residents may be contacted and are advising people never to give out personal information over the phone and to beware of phishing emails asking for verification of personal details by clicking any links.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam or fraud is asked to report it to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040 and also contact Victim Care and Advice service on 0303 040 1099.